Bruins are invited to join a celebration that honors the contributions of UCLA’s Latino forefather, Reginaldo Francisco del Valle today at noon.

As Los Angeles’s state assemblyman in 1880–1881, and state senator and president pro tempore of the California State Senate from 1882 to 1886, Del Valle introduced and guided to fruition legislation establishing and fully funding the Branch State Normal School at Los Angeles. Del Valle subsequently led the legislative efforts granting the school administrative autonomy. In 1919, the regents of the University of California expanded the U.C. system by absorbing the assets of the Los Angeles State Normal School, to establish its first campus in Southern California. Eventually this became UCLA. Without Del Valle’s legislative work, Los Angeles’s first publicly funded institution of higher learning, the State Normal School, would not have been built.

The celebration on campus will include an interactive exhibit, music and food. This Centennial event simultaneously recognizes and honors the more than 100 years of contributions Latino students, alumni, faculty, and staff have made to UCLA and to the wider community.

As part of the efforts to recognize and celebrate Del Valle’s role in the history of UCLA, the hope is to commission a portrait of him, to be installed in a prominent place on campus alongside memorials of other figures significant in the campus’s history and development. May 24 marks the beginning of this memorial project.

Program schedule:

Noon: Somos UCLA procession from the Bruin statue to Founder’s Rock
12:20 p.m.: Arrive at Founder's Rock for reception
12:45 p.m.: Performances 
1 p.m.: Celebration ceremony and presentation of resolutions 
1:30 p.m.: Historical exhibit and reception continues